Blashford Lakes is a Hampshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve just North of Ringwood. The reserve overlooks two large lakes with 5 hides that view them, and it also has another woodland hide, and two other lakes without hides on them. The reserve is open all year round except for Christmas Eve and Day. The reserve car parls are open from 09:00 to 16:30.
The reserve is known for having Bitterns over winter there – particuarly on Ivy Lake ( normally viewable via the North Hide). This unfortunately for photographers has only two side opening windows, otherwise you have to shoot through glass (the same is true of the woodland hide). However the other hides have opening windows on which to shoot through. As with any large lake you need the birds fairly close to get a reasonable shot. As well as the occasionally showing Bitterns the reserve is home to lots of overwintering wildfowl – up to 5000 birds according to their website.
During the warmer months the reserve has breeding common turns and sand martins, amongst others at the reserve.
As well as birds the reserve is an excellent location for photographing damselfiles and other insects. The paths around the lakes providing different habitats for a wide range of flies, beetles and weevils. During the autumn, fungi can also be seen an photographed on the reserve.